It’s been a while…

Good lord, how did most of a year get away from me?! I was chatting to Robbie from Palm Rae Potager who prompted me, in the nicest way, to post. A lot has happened since we last parted ways. I almost feel like I should be saying “Forgive me Father for I have sinned…”

Recycling old hot water bottles
What on earth is she showing us hot water bottles for? Well these are my old hot water bottles from last year that both sprung a leak. I trusted the pink one and it sprung a serious leak in our bed which resulted in us having to sleep on the lounge room floor for two days. Rather than thrash them soundly and hurl them into the rubbish bin I decided to save them to turn into the bases for some slippers for Steve and I that I am yet to make.
bed on floor in lounge room
Our seriously compromised lounge room with a queen sized mattress on the floor. It may have been a lot more comfortable than it was if both Bezial and Earl hadn’t decided to take possession of it prior to Steve and I going to bed thus leaving us with about a thimble full of bedding on either side of the bed to keep us warm…sigh. Needless to say I was MOST happy when our mattress dried out!

Life has been busy and interesting. The film course has kept us on our toes and we have managed to put a “short documentary” notch on both of our belts. I will share the links to what we came up with below. Steve chose one of our lecturer’s, George, who is also a guitarist, to star in his documentary and I chose one of our good friends who has led a most interesting life. Here are the links to the documentaries if you are interested in seeing them. Please note, for some reason they are part of the way through the video rather than at the beginning when you click on them so please click at the beginning of the video so that you can see them in their entirety πŸ™‚

Here’s my documentary…

And here’s Steve’s…

I have been cooking up a vegan storm. Because Steve is now a vegan, it makes cooking a whole lot easier and we have been getting very inventive. It certainly makes it easier at dinner time. I found a truly magnificent vegan chocolate cake recipe that makes two cakes with standard cupboard ingredients that anyone would have in their cupboards. Everyone who has tried this cake (vegan and otherwise) has loved it so I will share the link to the recipe here, again, in case anyone would like to make it.

https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/the-ultimate-vegan-chocolate-cake/

And here is a sequence of images showing that Earl gives the cake his seal of approval…

Dog licking a cake bowl
Earl taking advantage of the unattended cake bowl
Dog looking at chocolate cake
“Do you think she will notice if I just take a little lick?”
Dog trying to eat a chocolate cake
She hasn’t stopped me yet so I am going for it!
Not pretty but very tasty, we have mastered the art of the homemade vegan sausage to a fine art. Hot dogs are back on our menu!
We have also mastered the art of the vegan sausage roll. They taste delicious, contain a large amount of veggies and are equally loved by vegans and omni’s alike. I call that a serious “score” πŸ™‚

I don’t know if any of you remember but I bought a spinning wheel a few years ago, ostensibly because my son’s partner Kelsey bought one and I had always wanted one. I picked it up second hand on Gumtree (our equivalent to Craig’s List) and promptly forgot all about it. I kept falling over it in my craft room and decided that enough was enough and that if I wasn’t going to learn to spin I may as well sell it. I decided to learn to spin and am now seriously addicted.

My recently cleared out craft room and my first spinning wheel that I bought a couple of years ago. Behind it is all of the fleece that I have amassed over the last couple of months. I can now dive into it and swim like Scrooge McDuck in his money bins πŸ™‚

I have gone to a couple of classes where I met some lovely ladies and have settled on a group in Launceston who meet up every second Wednesday afternoon. Everyone sits around in a small hall and spins and talks etc. and it’s quite lovely to spend time with like minded people. They also sell yarns etc. so thus keep us seriously addicted and coming back.

sheep fleece for spinning
Fleece that I bought from Jennifer
dark coloured sheep fleece
More fleece
sheep fleece for spinning
Even more fleece and this is just a drop in my fleecy ocean. I am a happy spinning clam πŸ™‚

Through one of the lovely ladies in the group, Gladys, I met another lovely lady called Jennifer. She was offloading most of her fleece collection and I took serious advantage of the good prices to avail myself of a decent proportion of her collection. I now have all kinds of alpaca fleece, sheep’s wool, mohair and cotton to spin whenever I fancy.

hand spun, hand dyed yarn
Some of Jennifer’s glorious hand spun, hand dyed with natural plant dye yarn. Isn’t it tasty?
hand dyed, hand spun yarn
Steve’s take on Jennifer’s yarn.

I have met a lot of seriously nice people lately including fellow class members. For my birthday, Sue and Taylah, a mother and daughter dynamic duo that are studying film with us, brought me in some lovely yellow roving to spin as well as a couple of wonderful dye kits that we can experiment with. Steve and I are going to attempt to dye some fleece this weekend. I am in fleece heaven!

My two additional spinning wheels plus a basket of yarn that I am learning to knit with. If Ms Twisted is reading this “I am learning to knit!” Don’t faint Ms Twisted…

I also bought two more spinning wheels as they were so cheap (also on Gumtree) and one of them is a small upright wheel which takes up a lot less room in the car when I have to take it with me so that sealed the deal. The wheels came with a lot more spinning accouterments that I didn’t already own so were a serious bargain. The lovely elderly lady who sold me the wheels also gave me some big bags of fleece. I looked into them and noticed that they had been sitting in her shed for about 20 years and were most likely unable to be used for anything other than mulch but I was most polite and thanked her and the bags were tipped out into Sanctuary when we got home. It was lucky really as there had been all kinds of interesting bugs that had multiplied in the fleece over the years and Sanctuary was most glad of her new mulch layer. I am sure the rats will enjoy it also but that will give the feral cats something to eat other than the local birds.

Our LED lit “tree” in the lounge room that we made because we missed our Christmas Tree and we wanted something to take it’s place when it wasn’t up. We call it our Art tree.
dog with his nose on some alpaca fleece
Earl investigating a bag full of alpaca fleece…sigh…
I put that little corner unit onto the bench and it has completely changed the look and feel of the kitchen. I like it a lot more now. I was going to put plants on it but it seems to have absorbed my kitchen utensils nicely.

Steve had to do a bit of rudimentary mending on the wheels but I took the upright wheel to my daughter’s house a fortnight ago to give me something to do while I was minding their little dog. They don’t have television and I decided that a nice quiet weekend was on the cards. I spun up a few bobbins of yarn and my son Stewart, his partner Kelsey and I went up to see Jennifer and bought some more fleece.

A friend gave me a wicker chair as I was hunting around for a more comfortable chair to sit in whilst watching television. Here’s Earl after I finished crocheting a cover for the cushion. As you can see, he has officially claimed my chair…sigh…

Jennifer lives in a most beautiful part of the state called Deloraine and lives not far out of town but on a 50 acre property so she has plenty of privacy and room to move. She is one of the most talented people that I have ever met and that is not said lightly. She showed Kelsey and I some absolutely glorious free form crochet and knitting (hybridised) that she had turned into the most lovely floor length coat that would look perfectly at ease on a Paris catwalk. She also dyes her own yarn after spinning it and uses natural dyes to do so. Here are some of her hand spun, naturally dyed yarns that I bought from her. OK, so I already shared them further up in the post and am too lazy to move them here so just remember that lovely yarn from further up in the post OK?

Earl assisting Steve with his documentary.

Jennifer has told Kelsey and I that she will show us how to dye indigo, something that I am most interested in. She also gave me some weld seeds and plant material for dyeing fleece yellow and a madder plant that dyes fleece various shades of red depending on what you use to mordant it (I think that means set the colour but don’t quote me on that, I am NO dye expert!) I have kept it in the house and it has started to grow along with my water chestnuts sent to me by the wonderful Bev from foodnstuff. I keep topping the water chestnut water up with rain water and I planted them out into some mud from the bottom of Sanctuary and they seem to be most happy with the deal. I have no idea when it will be warm enough to plant them out as we have had a particularly cold winter this year but as soon as the barometer changes, you can bet your shiny metal A$% I will be out there, tail up sloshing around in a wicking bed and planting them out. I need to dedicate a wicking bed to them as they need to be submerged in water to grow.

Check out this sweet little mailbox made out of a gas bottle!

The seasons are starting to change now and I am getting itchy to get back into the garden. Sanctuary is going to have a top dressing of chicken coop hay and lots of feathers from Roosters that have gone by the wayside (via Earl and Bezial’s dinner bowls) as we have had to cull them severely. I am loath to waste anything nowadays and the fleece that I got with my wheels has covered a decent area of soil that was previously uncovered. Keeping the soil covered is tantamount to keeping the soil healthy in our summer where it rarely rains.

And another sweet little mailbox made out of several gas bottles just up the road. They are actually made by a local artisan.

Jennifer gave me some very large bags of sheep dags (the wooly bit at the rear end of the sheep that tends to contain a goodly proportion of dried dung when they are being shorn) that I am going to tip out onto Sanctuary as well. The soil keeps getting better and better up there and along with the chook shed hay and rooster feathers Cindernarf SHALL have her healthy soil.

Here’s a tiny video that Steve shot of me spinning and turned into a video.

Steve made me a 4 poster bed WAY back when we were living on the other side of the country in a small town in Western Australia. I wanted a tall bed and ended up with the mattress over a metre off the ground. I loved it but we don’t sleep in it any more and it was taking up some serious space in my craft room so we headed back to good old Gumtree and found a delightful futon for sale locally that the nice man delivered to us (no mean feat with our driveway) and the next day Steve and I took old Betsy the bed apart and reduced her down to a tasty pile of lumber that he can use for other projects and we trundled in new Betsy to take her place. Now I can use new Betsy to sit on in my craft room (if I can stop Earl from hogging her) and if by some unlikely circumstance, some poor foolish person decides that they want to stay with two dyed in the wool (pun fully intended) hermits and their mad fur babies, there is a facsimile of a “bed” when new Betsy is folded out. Now I can fit my stash into the room. I haven’t sorted it all out yet but it’s lovely just knowing that I not only have a craft room, but that I can actually move in it as well πŸ™‚

water chestnuts and madder
My water chestnuts and madder in the background.

Well, I don’t want to tax your minds folks. I know you have likely forgotten who the heck I am and I did feel a bit guilty whenever I noticed that some poor deluded soul had signed up to follow my blog, not knowing that they would have to check in their sense of normalcy at the door whenever they dropped by. So I will head off now into the sunset and hopefully, there won’t be a 4 month wait till I mosey back!

Sunset Sidmouth Tasmania

Advertisements

46 Comments Add yours

  1. foodnstuff says:

    Well, it HAS been a long time, but I didn’t mind because I can catch up via Facebook now. Loved your doco better than Steve’s (sorry, Steve), because of the variety and the scenic bits (a most interesting man he was too), and I’m not really into electric guitars. Did you take all the shots yourself? Nice to see slow steady panning which a lot of people can’t manage when shooting film.

    I’m amazed at your water chestnuts. Mine have only grown a few inches, but I left them out in the cold so don’t blame them.

    I laughed at the home-made sausages! Hate to tell you what they look like, but then you probably know that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Yeah, those home made sausages look decidedly sus! I made some using another recipe as they were supposed to approximate hotdog sausages more but if you put them on the ground it would look like something that came out of the rear end of a doberman! There are a couple of stock clips in my video but most of it I shot myself. The Open ABC website accepted a shortened version of my documentary on their web page. It is the first time that I have shot any kind of video at all so that made me happy πŸ™‚ My water chestnuts appear to think that they are living in Queensland, predominately because they are basking in Brunhilda’s lovely wafting warmth all day. The same goes for the (dye plant) madder that shouldn’t be up for another month but it appears to want to make an early start. I will plant it out in Sanctuary and let it go nuts as it’s a relative to cleavers (sticky weed) so I had best mark where I put it or I will be hauling it out en mass and it has to remain in the ground for a few years before the roots get big enough to dye fleece and yarn with. I think Facebook is much more immediate. If you want to share something it’s almost instantaneous where a blog post takes time to put together. Thank you for reading my post Bev πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. Nice to see you back Fran. I only got as far as the documentaries though and have run out of time……. Both so nicely done and so different. Your local man talking about his life and all the things he has done, paired with the beautiful scenic visuals was very interesting and enticing to me. This could double as a ‘come to Tasmania for a visit and stay forever’ kind of advert. Then the guitar man – more your talking head doco, but he spoke so well of his passion and I liked how the cuts of his mentors were put in too, then to hear him playing rounded it all out really clearly. I could relate to all he was saying about making the guitar relate emotions – Clapton at his best does that for me.

    The filming and cutting of the interviews seemed to be very good to me, I couldn’t fault it anyway. The camera panning on the vistas was very good too – I was expecting some shaking and those windy sounds but you were way too professional to do that! πŸ™‚ I’m just so impressed that you made these – so clever! Congrats to both of you – I hope you are both very pleased with your creative work too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Thank you Ms Pauline πŸ™‚ We were taught how to avoid those windy sounds and how to pan slowly. I also used a library of bird sounds etc. in my documentary (including water sounds) that you would never know weren’t the real thing. When you are a 50+er in Tasmania, your job prospects are slim and next to none and we would rather learn something useful than sit around on our hands doing nothing. Studying has opened up a world/wealth of information and skills to us that we would otherwise have never attempted. It’s lovely to be able to explore visual storytelling although my real love remains firmly with the power of words. We are focusing on our short drama’s now and fingers crossed they go well enough to share here πŸ˜‰

      Like

      1. I agree with you on that learning of new skills thing, I think it opens you up, deepens your thinking and emotional life and brings all kinds of rewards in it’s wake. Your ‘short drama’ will be an absolute wonder I am sure – but short? Now that will be a challenge πŸ˜€ I so loved your doco work and can’t wait to read your drama – which will indeed be your forte!! ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        We have 5 minutes to convey a story. I have had more trouble learning how to tell stories visually than Steve has because I tend to deal with words and can see my story in my head where this involves taking it out of my head and turning it into reality. I have my script nailed and my cast, location and crew and now I just have to get it filmed. Hopefully I can deliver something that makes the person watching it think. It’s ALL about communication in the end and all of the arty stuff just embellishes that communication. I think a short drama gives the person making it a good opportunity to pare their story down to its bare bones because you really have to deal with the issues when you have 5 minutes to tell that story. There are some really excellent ideas in the class. One lady is tackling child endangerment, Steve’s drama has a decent twist in it and another lady has a twist on jealousy. One young guy in our class is making a post apocalyptic type drama in 5 minutes! It will be interesting to see what we all come up with and we will have a movie night (complete with popcorn) once we have finished and there is always the (dreaded) “Film Festival” that one of our lecturers is hell bent on us all entering… o_O

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh wow! Exciting days in Sidmouth! If the standard is up with you two, it will be a great night – and a great film festival too. Have fun!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. narf7 says:

        I will ask my fellow classmates if I can share some of their videos here and you can all put your feet up with popcorn πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      5. An excellent idea!! πŸ™‚

        Like

  3. Jane says:

    I’m also glad you’re back. I thought maybe you’d gone forever, and I don’t do Facebook so I guess I miss out a bit there. Loved both videos you are both so clever, but most of all I like reading about what you have been doing in the garden and look forward to more photos of Sanctuary and Narnia as the growing season gets going. I wonder what Sanctuary looks like now, with the netting gone, and how the trees there are going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      The netting is still over Sanctuary as otherwise the possums would have a seriously awesome time defoliating everything in sight. My tropical babies (the cherimoya/custard apple seedlings I grew from seed) are still growing happily despite our much colder than average winter that we are still very much “in”. It’s cold, wet, frosty and only the daffodils and jonquils are rustling along with the camellias. I will try to post more regularly now but winter tends to be when we hibernate inside rather than get outside in the garden. It’s too cold! πŸ˜‰ So glad you enjoyed my post and are still reading them Jane. How is the weather up there?

      Like

  4. Jane says:

    Ah, I thought you took the netting off Sanctuary and put it on Narnia, but I guess you had some spare for that. I have been digging swales from March until a couple of weeks ago. I’m all dug out for this year and I don’t really think I need more at this stage.The thing that saved us really is that we had quite a wet end to autumn. We had the driest start to winter on record for this area, and for the whole of June we got 4mm. . July 2016 we had 103mm, July 2017 we had 66mm. Last year we got most of our rain in September and October so I have my fingers crossed for the next two months as I’ve planted quite a few trees, native and fruit including a moringa and a jelly palm both of which are looking very sad as we have had the worst frost I can remember here nearly every morning since the beginning of May. If we don’t get decent rain soon I will just use what water I can for the trees and not grow much summer veg. It’s not all doom and gloom though. The dam is full, also my tanks. Here’s hoping for a wet spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      We did have a couple of spare rolls of that precious ex fish farm netting left over so it was perfect for Narnia. We did work out that the blackbirds have no trouble getting through the wide triangular mesh of the fence that we built that is one side of Narnia though and they scoffed most of our tomatoes and strawberries last year so they won’t be getting the same opportunity this year and we will put some bird netting on the outside of the fence!

      I wish our soil was easy to dig! I would have contours and swales dug out all over the place (along with a dam) but we are at least 50% rock on our property and some of them are car sized so you start digging on what appears to be a small rock on the surface and suddenly when you are half a metre into the hole you realise that there isn’t an end to this rock and abandon ship…

      We were the same last year with rain but it runs in 4 year cycles here. Usually when we have a particularly cold winter (like this year) we get a particularly warm summer. I am NOT looking forward to that but have been collecting mulch ingredients (spent chook shed hay, rooster feathers from when we cull them and feed them to the dogs and enormous bags of sheep dags that a friend gave us as well as my already collected bags of raked hay from when the council mows the park over the bridge) so I am hoping that I will be able to mulch just about everything that needs regular watering and the rest will have to cope. We planted out some brachychitons a few years ago that have managed to survive. I think you just have to pick plants that will do well in your area for the majority of your property and go hunting for food crops that don’t mind it dry. We have to learn to adapt to what is going on around us and to manipulate our environment accordingly using natural ameliorates to help keep that precious soil moist and productive. Not easy but we can do it.

      Not only mulching but planting intesively. I will be filling up all of the gaps this year to make sure that the plants act as their own green mulch. I did this last year in Sanctuary by using oca that spread in between everything on the raised mounds and covering the soil. Hopefully the rats left a few in the ground to sprout this year. Same goes for the Jerusalem artichokes. If you haven’t planted them, plant some as they are hard to kill. I have a small patch of them in a protected circle of wire and they grow every year despite getting no water at all.

      I wish I could get hold of a moringa. They are amazing trees. We have had terrible frost here as well. Usually we don’t get the frost but this year it’s the norm rather than the exception. Have you thought of digging a couple of holes (hire a petrol manual post hole digger) around the outside of your trees, putting a length of plumbers poly pipe in the holes and filling them in? You water directly into the holes and it takes the water down to the root growth zone where it doesn’t evaporate. You do have to have caps for the pipes but they aren’t too expensive and they really work with trees. If the dam is full you are onto a winner. Can you draw water from the dam and tanks for the veggies? I agree, here’s hoping for a wet Spring! It’s lovely to hear from you and chat to you Jane. We do have very similar problems with our properties, the wildlife and the fact that nature seems to keep biting us whenever we try to do something positive. Always good to share the problem solving with a fellow garden struggler πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. Lovely to see you back and enjoyed reading about all you’re both getting up to. Stunning yarns by the way! Haven’t watched the videos yet…hopefully later today. Take care my friend πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Ditto Ms Chica. It’s bloody cold over here! The rest of Australia seems to be in full spring production but Tasmania doesn’t want to let go of winter. Not that I am complaining (too much) it’s just that I keep wondering if I should get my tomatoes started and suddenly there is snow down to 200 metres and I start to twitch πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jane says:

    Yes rocky ground would be so hard to work, I’m glad I don’t have that problem. No I don’t pump from the dam, it is the only water supply for the horses and I can’t risk having it dry up. If I get desperate for water for the garden I carry it up in buckets from the dam, I can’t afford to put an irrigation system in, but that’s ok because watering by hand keeps you aware of how much water you’re using. I can and do use water from the shed tank for the veg, but try not to use too much of the house tank water for the garden. I have used your bottle idea for some of my fruit trees as well as the veg., and they work well. I haven’t put bottles in for the trees on the swales as I want to see how they go first. I found a website called Mulchnet where you can register for free wood chips, it works Australia wide. The person writing about it was in Melbourne and they only had to wait two weeks for a delivery, I’ve been waiting two months. I think I am just to far out from the bigger towns, but it is free to register so I’ll just keep waiting, you never know what might happen, I would just love a huge load of wood chips, but there are no guarantees. Perhaps you might be luckier. I have Jerusalem artichokes to plant soon, I’m just waiting till the worst of the frost is over. I used to grow them when I lived in Melbourne, I don’t know how they’ll go here. I like them made into soup. I planted a hardenbergia, which is native to this area, but the frost has killed it I think, but I have jostaberry cuttings looking good and also cape gooseberries in pots to be planted out. Bev from foodnstuff kindly sent me those seeds. I am not at all sure my little moringa tree will survive, but if it does, and sets seeds I’d be happy to send you some. Thank you for all your encouragement and patience with my whinging!
    I forgot to say last time I love the colours of your yarn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I live 50km out of the city so I think I would probably be in your boat with the mulchnet. My best bet is to glean what I can from the parks (we rake up the grass when they mow it) and use anything else that I can find to mulch. You can get pretty creative. We have had to cull our roosters and I am saving their feathers to add to the mix. I don’t think you can kill jostaberries or cape gooseberries to be honest. I cut the jostaberries at my daughters house (that they don’t water) down to the ground to stumps and they are 6ft tall now. Cape gooseberries will wear a frost and will come back. They will also seed prolifically and will pop up all over the place. You know Bev as well? Bev and I are old mates <3. I would love some moringa seed if you ever get some by the way. I tried to grow it from seed sourced online but it has to be fresh seed for you to have a chance of growing it and obviously mine wasn't. There are a lot of people online who buy seed in and then package it up and onsell it for a profit without caring whether it is fresh or not. I think I could whinge you out of the ballpark Jane so never mind about the odd complaint. When you live in the Aussie bush, your complaints are a badge of courage :). The yarn wasn't mine. I bought it from a friend who is very clever and who spins and dyes the fleece herself. I am spinning at the moment and am just about to start venturing into dyeing fleece myself to spin. It's a great adventure and makes natural fibred yarn an affordable option for me. I could only afford acrylic before and now I can spin alpaca I can make clothing etc. with natural fibres from scratch. I call that a serious win :). Have a really lovely day today Jane. I hope you get some of that rain. We are supposed to have a nice day today (-2 start) and then rain developing tomorrow.

      Like

  7. Kim says:

    Welcome back! I enjoyed reading what you’ve been up to and will watch the docs later. Good to see that Earl is looking so well – clearly that cake agrees with him πŸ˜‚.
    P. S. All of my turmeric plants are ok. We are heading into autumn now so i will find out what’s happening under the soil soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Leave the turmeric till the plants die back completely and then dig around and see what you have in the soil. I left mine in the soil and they grew back next year but I don’t know what your winter is like (snow etc.) if it’s mild, you can leave it in the ground. If not, I would dig it up and store it :).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jane says:

    Thank you Fran, you always give me hope for my desertπŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      We desert dwellers need to stick together πŸ˜‰

      Like

  9. Chocolate cake: the universal harbinger of peace and happiness, uniting vegans and omnivores alike. Although, I have to admit, I might actually be more envious of that absolutely stunning yarn right now… Those brilliant skeins aren’t just your average worsted weight! I’d love to see what you make of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      So would I! I have no idea how to use them but I am loving them anyway πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Robbie says:

    What pure delight!!! If I ever get to Tasmania, I want to buy some property where your friend lives and join everyone for a Friday beer!!!! I LOVED your documentaries. I am not disappointed and knew they would be excellent!!!!

    I watch a lot of documentaries on you tube ( various subjects or things I want to learn) and I have to say yours is VERY well done. You both can check off the box for doc filming, you have that down. I love how you use “visual” in the documentary with your friend. I enjoyed the silence and visual in between the stories. really well done, my friend!!

    How long did it take you to make your documentary? How long did it take Steve to put together his too( find music to add etc)? I enjoy the “blues” and that was well done. He sure is a talented man and enjoyed his story. ..what a beautiful guitar too!!!You two have another business you can start, doing documentaries. I enjoyed the documentary of your spinning, I was waiting for another story:-) want more!!!!!

    I got a kick out of your intro to this post, “forgive me father” LOL. I listened to the song, It has been awhile, geez, I have not heard that since my middle daughter was in high school. She was dating a “boy” in high school (freshman year )that has so many problems, they listened to that song a lot…once I got past the bad memories, of a bad boyfriend of my middle daughter-LOL, I could listen…I always liked that song….but it had been awhile…Sooooo glad, I stopped by tonight to visit.

    I always have to have a bit of time to read and visit with your posts. I read it in a hurry..it is a ritual…lol…When you post..I get a cup of tea, or a snack and sit back and enjoy. I can not be rushed! I agree with you all -You live in paradise!!!

    You seem to have a place filled with so many like-minded souls. ( long sigh)…I have to admit, I am envious:-) I enjoy my urban dwelling neighborhood, but it is a different atmosphere. I went down to the river ( a mile away from my house) and rode through several river towns today. I rode today alone ( my friends were all busy or out of town) and passed many interesting people along the way, however, our paths really don’t cross. We lack a place for creative types. We need more classes like spinning or art for people to gather. most of them are at the college. I may have to start one-LOL!

    Please keep on sharing, I have missed my visits /tea time with your post:-) Don’t ever worry, I may take a few days to read your post for I can’t be interrupted, or need to rush. Today was perfect, just wish I lived near you so I could join in on the weekly Friday night beer?
    If I ever win the lottery or inherit some money, maybe I should go down to paradise and buy some land!!! You are an amazing group of people down under!!!!!
    Give the dogs a hug from me and chance:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      You wouldn’t have to win much lottery as land is cheap out here Robbie and our friend Guy would be more than happy for you and your husband to drop around any time for a beer (he is ALWAYS up for a beer πŸ˜‰ ). Thank you for the lovely compliments about the documentaries. Mine took about an hour to film as well as getting some additional footage from the river around here. That yacht in the documentary is at the foot of our driveway! I know what you mean about creative types and I think starting something yourself is a brilliant idea. Do you have a community function centre anywhere near you? You mentioned the college but here we have community houses where people go to meet up and learn things. They are usually combined with the online internet places for people who don’t have computers. If I wanted to teach people how to cook healthy vegan food I could take classes there. It costs very little to hire the rooms and you can charge for classes.

      I love the spinning communities around here. The local one is at Deviot in a girl guide camping ground. The building must be over 100 years old and is all made of wood and is a lovely setting. I first went there with my spinning wheel when I had NO idea how to spin and spent a whole day with some amazingly talented and lovely ladies for $2. There was a lovely big fire in the centre of the room and everyone set up their wheels around the outside and spun and chatted. Some of the ladies use drop spindles but most of them had wheels. I then met another lady through a Facebook group that I joined who I am firm friends with now and who I call my craft guru. There is nothing that Gladys can’t do! She and I message each other pretty much daily about what we are doing and I love spinning so much now. It’s relaxing and I get to make lovely hand spun customised yarn that I couldn’t even begin to afford in the yarn shops. It’s been a win win situation all round πŸ™‚

      There are a lot of craft groups that start up in people’s houses called things like “knit and natter” where people turn up with their knitting or crochet and all get together around the kitchen table with their craft of choice and chat and work on their projects over a cup of tea and some communal cake. I think we miss that community that occurs when we can get together with like minded people. Back a century ago that would have been the norm. Now it’s not at all common and I am very glad that it is starting to come back now albeit with strangers. Strangers are only strangers till they become friends πŸ™‚

      I will try to keep sharing. I might not be that regular this month as I have decided to do my short drama at the end of the month. It’s about a woman who goes out to the shops to get milk and disappears and her husbands journey from not appreciating her to realising that she meant a whole lot more to him. I won’t say any more as it would spoil it but hopefully it turns out like I want it to. My daughter was going to play the woman’s part in it with her little dog but pulled out as she has a tough schedule at college herself at the moment but my son’s partner Kelsey from Texas has said that she will do it and a friend has loaned me her lovely golden retriever Molly so it’s all stations ahead for me! Steve had trouble finding actors for his production so Steve and I are going to act in it. Why not? If it’s good enough for De-Niro… πŸ˜‰

      So I will be terrified out of my gourd for the next month and planning everything down to the nth degree! It says something about me that my very first port of call with thinking about how to tackle this project was to work out what I was going to cook for everyone to cater for the shoot ;). I gave Bezial a cuddle for you this morning and Earl has stolen the bed covers and is snuggling up with Steve at the moment so please give Chance a big smooch from us all. The boys would love to play with him ❀ I love that we connected online Robbie. I often lament social media etc. as dumbing people down but it has the flip side of allowing like minded people who would have otherwise never met to meet up and share their thoughts online which has been brilliant :). See you soon πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Robbie says:

        I was thinking of you the other day. I was wondering-How do you do it all??? I find your “love for learning” just what we all need to do in this world. You are a big kid, Fran-LOL. I am signed up on “share skill” and am learning to paint with watercolor flowers. I plan on planting some next summer specifically for painting-I can hardly wait! I love watercolor painting for you have to let it “dry” between layers and I am so hyper that it gives me a medium and can do in between other projects like being in the garden. I admire people that can sit and knit, I wish I would have learned from my grandmother. It was all I could do to sit still to learn needle point! She tried, but I did not sit long enough. I figure as I get older I can sit for longer times, but not too often. People call me hyper, but I don’t see it! I looked on line for local groups that met, but figure someday I may just have to start one-not many around here.
        I am looking forward to seeing your new films and projects. I apologize for my hit and miss posts and hit and miss comments….the other day, I had to stop and walk away from the computer. It bothers my eyes to sit at it too long…I was at it for the water color class and did some research, but that was all I could do that day.
        Love your blog and stories, they keep my life real!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Robbie says:

        did not proof read, writing in these small boxes drives me crazy! I meant, learning to paint with watercolor + ink- flowers…not flowerpaints…nutty me!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. narf7 says:

        Flower paints…now THERE is something interesting…

        Like

      4. narf7 says:

        Water colour poppies. πŸ™‚ I LOVE water coloured painting. There is something dreamy about how the paint blends into the other colours and its very romantic. I can’t wait to see your work. Starting your own group with a, or a couple, of like minded friends is a good way to find more of you. You just put out a bit of advertising on lamp posts and in mail boxes and let people know what you are doing. So many people are sitting behind their front doors feeling disconnected and starting a craft group is an excellent way to connect the people in your community together again. No problems on the sporadic comments. They are lovely. I get up and there’s a comment from Robbie and its lovely to answer them :). I am thinking I might do another blog post today. I don’t have a lot of images but I am just about to do my drama shoot in just over a week. I really know very little about what I am doing and most likely, neither do most of my crew, but we will all learn together and so long as I can cobble something together out of the experience I will call myself the wiser for it. I am not really interested in making drama’s etc. but I love that we can now make short documentaries and I will be off visiting a lady soon who is one of the most amazing crocheters, spinners, dyers etc. I have ever met. She has offered to teach me how to make a hot indigo dye vat as well as teaching me how to dye with weld and our own native cherry wood. I am not really interested in chemical dyes and would rather learn how to prepare and use natural dyes from scratch. That way I can dye my natural fleeces etc. with natural dyes that I source myself and it will be a LOT cheaper and the end results will be a whole lot more natural. As much as I love bright colours, I also love how nature provides. I learned that you can use common lichen that you find on rocks to dye yarn and fleece and that after a year fermenting, it dyes a most glorious bright magenta! I am loving learning about it and will share everything that I learn with you all. I might try to sneak my camera up to Jennifer’s place and see if I can’t document some of what we learn and cobble it together with a bit of music and share it with you all on my blog but if it interferes with the learning process (the most important quotient) I won’t do it. Wish me luck in my production Robbie, I am most certainly going to need it! They say never work with dogs or children and I am working with both!

        Like

  11. Robbie says:

    oops, did not proof read, I meant, I CAN”T RUSH when I read your posts. I enjoy your story telling. I reply in the small square box and it is hard to see what I wrote, but I figure you know what I meant.
    Reading your post is a great way to start my labor day weekend, off to grab a friday night beer and sit in my urban potager….I’ll just close my eyes and pretend I am in paradise:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I will waft it over to you. Just imagine sitting in a freezer and you are almost there… πŸ˜‰

      Like

    2. Robbie says:

      I am rushed this morning, but I did write a brief comment to let you know, I have Sam( my grandson) today. It vanished, so I am writing it again-ugh-lol- He is being dropped off in about 30 minutes. I don’ have time to sit down with a cup of tea to respond to your wonderful blog post comment:-( I did read it and have some questions and further comments….busy weekend, and I have him again today. My daughter is an Emergency room nurse and she works long hours. She is starting her career and trying to have a family at the same time. I am trying to help out as best I can since I never had anyone help me in my younger years….but boy am I tired!!!! I will stop by later this week to visit with some time….I have him again Friday. Her days are long the work 12-hour shifts and Sam’s dad is a fireman which means 48-hour shifts….crazy work schedule. I will be spending time looking for crickets/bugs or paint in the garden today! I do love him coming, but I am no spring chicken anymore-LOL He is 4 y’s old and a blast to spend time with, why can’t we all stay 4 yrs old mentally????They are kind souls that love life to the fullest:-) Somewhere along the way we lose that child like wonder—but I must say you sure don’t! I try to:-)
      Talk soon:-)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. narf7 says:

        Stay sane Robbie. My best suggestion to weather the 4 year old storm is to just go with the flow and when he takes a nap (if he still does) YOU take a nap. Have really simple food and let him help make it and have what my grandma used to have, a “crafts box” where she put all kinds of interesting things for us to do whenever we came to her house. It was a large biscuit (cookie) tin with a lid and it contained puzzles and unusual craft things like French knitting (wooden cotton reels with nails in the top) and each time we went we could only get into that amazing Aladdin’s trove if we were extremely good. It kept us quiet for ages! There were also small travel games etc in there. I know that Sam is only 4 but you would be amazed at how much is going on inside a 4 year olds head. Keep those garden outings going as long as you can as that’s where he is going to get those precious memories with you. This is your chance to shape that brilliant small mind and share your love of your garden, of nature and of the world with him πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Robbie says:

        I totally agree. When he comes to my house, I take him on a walking tour. We eat the alpine strawberries ( thinking about taking my domestic out and replacing-yum ), move on to the berry section to see what is in bloom and what we can eat, check the dwarf fruit trees and then it is on to bug catching. We have a place where we capture crickets and let them go. I have even had him pet some of my bumble bees, not the other bees -LOL. I love having a garden with my grandson. We have a blast. We paint in the garden too! I agree the memories are what he will remember and mabye I’ll inspire another gardener. I do believe there is a DNA gene for “gardner” lol

        Liked by 1 person

      3. narf7 says:

        There is not only a gene for it but a special “switch” that only comes on when your grandparents introduce you to it. My grandmother had a herb garden and a wonderful flower garden and my grandfather had the back block for his veggie garden. My mum was a single mum with very little income but from her, I learned that you can replicate plants for free (cuttings and divisions and “borrowed” seed from over the fence) and how you can use manure etc. to make your garden grow amazingly well. I also learned resilience and stubborn persistence from her which, at the time, I didn’t realise are 9/10ths of gardening! I never realised how much gardening was in my soul till just after my mum died and I started a veggie garden because she had been urging me to do so back in 2012 and I had never had a compost pile before and I started composting and it was like a light switched on in my head and my heart. I haven’t looked back since and gardening is the closest thing to keeping my family line/genes alive that I know. I am hoping that latent gene is lying in wait in my children and if I ever get a grand child, I will be doing everything that I can to let them shine their own light in my garden πŸ™‚

        Like

  12. Wow… I turn my back for a couple of weeks and you go and post LOL.. πŸ™‚
    Love it Fran..
    I Loved your videos and clicked like, Such interesting people, and loved listening to both of them… . And subscribed so I I hope I don’t miss any new creations πŸ˜€ You look also to have got the knack of Spinning! and interesting too that you used the not so good wool for Mulch.. My daughter was saying that its a fact that there is something in Wool that is good for plants.. She only told me this yesterday so synchronicity at work here..
    I am loving how the Spinning is taking off, so many wonderful colours that you can naturally dye your wool in.. And the selection in your photo stunning..
    My daughter who turned 40 this year while speaking about the wool, asked if I could teach her to knit of crochet.. I think I will teach her to crochet some squares. Those I can master.. LOL..I hope she learns to knit.. She was impressed I think with my cardigan I last made. The one I sent you a copy of.. The simple shapes I think convinced her she could manage it..

    I can not believe you are getting snow still.. As you move into Spring.. I feel we are in for an early long winter this year for some reason.. Following my gut.. So we are putting a small stove in the greenhouse.. Our daughter bought a gyspy stove for her lean too greenhouse on a walled garden they have.. And Hubby fell in love with the idea, and so its an early Christmas present for him from her.. Hence he is lagging the green house well and making a gap for a chimney .. He is real happy in his work lol.

    Good to see Earl is doing ok too.. And I hope you get lots of wood stocked up for Brunhilder And pray you do not get the predicted fires..
    Seems the world is going haywire right now with Floods, Hurricanes and Mad rulers of the world..
    Which is best we keep creating, and being as self sufficient as possible..
    Loved the cake recipe.. My daughter is Vegan I think I told you before.. She made a wonderful cake out of avocados ..

    So good to see you in blog land again Fran.. Take care of yourselves. and thank you always for your lovely support over at Dreamwalker’s Garden.. I really appreciate You..
    Love Sue xxx ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      The appreciation is mutual Sue XX and thank you for the lovely comment. The cake is a serious winner. Tell your daughter it makes 2 layer cakes (like the old sponge cake rounds) so you get a decent cake from it and you don’t need any weird ingredients, just things most people would have in their cupboards. That is a lovely gift that your daughter just bought your husband. No wonder he is going gangbusters with fixing up the greenhouse! I reckon you will be in for a cold long winter as well. We are in for a hotter than average summer and I am doing my level best to lose weight before it hits. I have lost 12kg and have quite a bit more to go but easy steps. I have had to put all crafts on hold for a while as I am due to shoot my short drama at the end of the month and it’s all hands on deck and full steam ahead and any other platitude that I can think of to get this accomplished. I lost my female lead and her dog not so long ago but managed to get another female lead and the loan of a lovely dog from a good friend so I am back on track. I will be having to act in Steve’s video as he couldn’t find two middle aged men and so he adapted it so that one character could be a woman. The other character is going to be one of our lecturers at TAFE so this will be interesting! It would seem that Steve has managed to wrangle getting both of our TAFE lecturers in his videos. I will share them here once we finish them and hopefully people think that they are OK. I don’t think that we are going to be pursuing careers in the movie industry but it’s incredibly good to know how to make a short documentary and how to visually share things so I might start making videos for the blog and sharing them about the garden, what we are doing etc. All we need is some sound equipment and we are good to go. Steve filmed another short film last night. He wanted to see if our canon camera would do a good job as it has a 50mm lens and can do good closeup work. He filmed our dinner! πŸ˜‰ If you want to see what we had for dinner last night check out the YouTube channel πŸ˜‰ Thank you again for your lovely comments Sue. The dags in the garden are excellent mulch as they hold in the moisture incredibly well, they fertilise the garden slowly and they break down slower than straw/hay does so pretty much all of the sheep is useful. I took a book out of the library and it was about spinning. Most of it contains those glorious U.K. sheep that you guys have and I was drooling! We get merino and corridale here and a few stray odd types. Many people are going to those dorpers (or however you spell it) that shed their fleece naturally and that don’t need shearing as they are for meat sheep. What a waste! I now look at the sheep in the fields and if I see a black one, I think to myself “I must put a note in that persons mail box…” πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha.. πŸ™‚ to the sheep.. And I will be looking forward to the film you are making and a great idea too about doing one for a blog update.. I subscribed to YouTube so when I log in I should see updates.. πŸ™‚
        And yes to Winter.. and well done on the weight loss too.. And that sounds Quite an film you are putting together both of you and best of luck to you both on your entries..
        Well I have sat here on and off most of the day sad to say catching up .. Now its bed time.. So will answer your other lovely comment on my blog tomorrow Fran.. Take care and have a great weekend both of you.. HUGS Sue xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        It would seem that technology had both of us in its grip yesterday Sue. I have a wall of blackberries to cut down today before they sprout leaves and come to life again for another year. I have a very small window of opportunity before they mass and make life VERY difficult rather than just “difficult” so today is the day!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Take care of those hands and arms Fran, I know how devilish Blackberries can fight back.. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      4. narf7 says:

        I was doing the cutting and Steve was doing the hauling and dragging away. We managed to clear a good patch of them out and will tackle more of them soon. I am sore today I can tell you as they did, indeed, fight back!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes, I remember clearing a patch out a few years ago and have learnt to keep a first aid box in the shed. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Linne says:

    SO nice to see you back again, Narfie! I don;t have time for a long comment today (did you faint there?) but had to say I love your spinning wheels and that you are embarking on another fork in the fibre road. I took a spinning class some decades ago and have not forgotten how. But wheels are expensive here so I still don’t have one. Mum’s wheel went to my RN sister, who sure deserves it and further, who has room for it. But I know how to spin with a drop spindle, which can be made from a knitting needle and a potato (for the whorl). One day soon, I hope. I’ve done some dyeing and love it; hope you do, too. Please post aboyt dyeing with indigo; it’s something I’d love to try and have only read about.

    I enjoyed both videos for different reasons. Thanks for sharing them.

    Hope to post soon as I will have some exciting news to share. In the meantime, I’m still trying to catch up with reading blog posts.

    That cake looks delicious. Hope to try it one day. Right now, I’m overwhelmed with the baking we’ve been doing to keep up with some of the harvest here. But winter is coming here πŸ™‚ 😦

    Love to you and Steve and a hug for each of the boys. Great post!
    See you again soon. ~ Linne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Good to hear from you Linne. I will post about the dyeing but I don’t think that I will be going up this Saturday (like we planned) as both Steve and I have come down with a bad cold and I don’t want to spread it to anyone 😦 I will have to reschedule with Jennifer. That cake is really delicious but not really healthy. Glad you are keeping busy and baking up some of the harvest. We are contemplating the harvest and I need to get a wriggle on with planting out seeds! See you soon πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. Hi Fran, It has taken me a while to read your latest post which is as entertaining as ever. I was wondering how you and Steve coped with a mattress on the floor and two large dogs. Yep, pretty much as I expected – the dogs took up prime position and you had to make do with what room was left.
    Good luck with the rest of the year at TAFE. I don’t know how the various courses you have taken can be melded into an income generating venture – horticulture, computers and media – there could be an idea in there somewhere. Have you ever planned to set up your own roadside stall using your surplus cuttings and produce?
    What topic of study is on the cards for 2018?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      NO idea what is on the cards for 2018 Margaret. I think we might have to play it by ear to be honest. TAFE is getting more and more expensive and less and less “available” to the masses these days so we might have to step back into unemployment and see if all of the courses that we have been taking might lead us to a job. Otherwise it might be volunteering in community gardens etc. I can think of worse ways to live.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s